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The Ed Show

News/Business. (2012)

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Us 21, America 10, Paul Ryan 10, Florida 9, John Mccain 8, Mccain 5, Washington 5, Elizabeth Warren 4, Obama 3, Patrick Murphy 3, Burma 3, New York 2, Mitch Cesar 2, Scott 2, Susan Rice 2, Josh Eidelson 2, Huffington 2, John Boehner 2, The Union 2, Boehner 2,
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  MSNBC    The Ed Show    News/Business.  (2012)  

    November 20, 2012
    12:00 - 1:00am PST  

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thing, but especially by our daughter caroline finishing well up there in the pack. it was a great day for philly and the country. it was wow. that's "hardball" for now. thank you for being with us. "the ed show" starts right now. good evening, americans. welcome to "the ed show" from new york. america rejected paul ryan. apparently john boehner didn't get the memo. this is "the ed show." let's get to work. >> we have seen people talk about a possible compromise. is that something that's accepted? >> no. >> democrats aren't budging. the union breaks news on my radio show. >> how will you feel if the bush tax cuts expired across the board and we started over with the obama tax cuts? >> i think that would be acceptable. >> former labor secretary robert rush and bill pascrell on the latest movement on the fight for the middle class.
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>> a judge orders mediation for hostess and its employees. but make no mistake, the vulture capitalists will get their cut. i'll talk twinkie. plus john mccain continues to spiral out of control over benghazi. >> the chickens are now coming home to roost. >> the banks revolt against elizabeth warren. and workers are threatening strikes at walmart stores across america. >> we expect our associates to do their job. >> josh ed elson has the latest on the workers versus walmart. good to have you with us. thanks for watching. democratic leaders are in the budget fight to win it for the middle class. president obama is wrapping up his southeast asia trip. he was overheard requesting help from a higher power to solve the standoff in washington.
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>> in washington he's deadly serious about keeping the upper hand in negotiations. democrats are defending the line in the sand. here's how democratic leader nancy pelosi when she was asked if the democrats would accept a deal extending tax cuts for the wealthy. >> talking about a possible come romiez that would cap deductions. is that something that's acceptable? >> no. the president made it very clear in his campaign that there's not enough resources. what you just described is a formula and a blueprint for our future. >> democrats from both chambers are not budging. senator dick durbin wouldn't entertain the idea of the gop of a tax hike on millionaires only. >> $250,000 for a family is a reasonable number.
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to go up to $1 million, i'm not sure what we're proving. there has to be revenue on the table. and those 2% or 1% of highest wage earners in america who are doing well should pay a little more. >> labor is also on board. i spoke with the service employees union on my radio show today. she says her members will be okay with letting all tax cuts expire. >> i think that would be acceptable. i do think that republicans have a choice to bring peace of mind. >> so letting all the tax cuts ek pyre would put us back to square one and president obama and his team could come up with a framework that could be better for the middle class. you're okay with that? >> absolutely. >> this is where we're at. the presidents and democrats will not do a deal without tax hikes.
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democrats will not consider a millionaire-only tax. big labor says it's okay if all tax cuts expire because republicans will lose all of their leverage. the republicans are up a bad creek without a paddle. conservative governors like bobby jindal and scott walker have emerged trying to moderate their party's agenda, but both had had no answers on what they would do for the middle class. >> president obama says, look, let's extend the bush tax cuts for 98% of all taxpayers right now. i'll sign it today. took out his pen at the news conference. and the republicans say, no, we can't do that until we decide what we're going to do with the top 2% of taxpayers. why wouldn't a middle class voter look at that and say, the gop are all about protecting the rich. >> crystal clear. pretty direct question.
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here's the answer. >> we're not the party trying to protect the rich. they can protect themselves. we want growth. >> no, no, no, no. it's the answer. i was at a football game last night and i didn't see a punt any better than what you just saw. here's walker. >> when the president is saying i'll sign it, lowering taxes for 98% of americans and republicans are saying not so fast, bill crystal was on last week and said it wouldn't kill the republicans to raise taxes on millionaires millionaires. is he wrong? >> another tough question from fox on taxes. your move, governor walker. >> we need to get the economy going. e we need to get people back to work. and that affects the middle class right now and the fact they are talking about anything
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that might make it worse in the economy i think is a bad sign about what's happening in washington. >> scott walker looks like he's running for 2012 dodge ball champion of the year. folks, just let all the tax cuts go away if they don't want to do a deal. then they are going to say no to another deal and it's going to get politically worse. republicans have no answers because they just basically have a loser's hand. i'm tired of the bush tax cuts. i would like to see the obama tax cuts. john boehner doesn't seem to get it. look at who he has put in charge of their negotiations. "the new york times" reports speaker boehner has tapped paul ryan to help strike a deal on tax increases by the end of the year. and to bring along fellow republicans, i don't think he's goods at that. this is the same paul ryan from the losing ticket of just a few weeks ago. the same congressional leader who wants to kill medicare and medicaid, the same guy who wants to keep taxes low for the
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wealthiest americans and let's cut the hell out of education. voters rejected paul ryan's plan two weeks ago, but boehner put him in charge of the negotiations. in fact, mr. ryan could conceivably scuttle any deal if he loudly opposes the solution that's the speaker of the house and also top republican leaders would embrace. what is he, the ruler of the house now? putting paul ryan out front and center in these budget negotiations tells you everything you need to know about how far the republicans are going to go to doing a deal. republicans took a beating in this election. they haven't heard what the american people are telling them apparently. this is the biggest story in the country. all the side stuff is all chatter in my opinion. this is where the country needs to be focused. the outcome of this budget fight will tell you, the future of america's middle class, and
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that's what this election was about. democrats, i think, are off to a very good start. just hang your hat on what nancy pelosi said. no. we're going to move the rates higher on the wealthiest americans and there's not going to be a deal on deductions that's going to get us to some number that's going to exist. let me give you the straight talk. somebody has to pay the bar tab. the democrats are willing to write the check, but the republicans, they want to get out scott free. isn't going to happen. democrats need to hold the line here and keep telling yourself, liberals, we won this election. and this was an exhausted topic throughout the entire conversation between president obama and mitt romney. we have the facts and the people on our side. get your cell phones out. tonight know what you think. tonight's question, who is paul ryan going to fight for? text a for the rich, text b for the middle class. you can always go to our blog.
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we'll bring you results later on in the show. let's bring in bill pascrell of new jersey tonight. also robert riech. gentlemen, great to have you with us tonight. congressman, let's start with you first. what do you expect with paul ryan at the helm of these negotiations? >> it doesn't send -- i'm not frightened about that situation. in fact, one of the things that paul does bring to the table, and i think it's necessary here, ed, is urgency. this is an urgent situation we need to address. if we kick this can down the street, and i would contend that if you do away with all of the bush tax cuts and we supposedly start anew in january or february, i don't think that helps us down the path. i think we could strike a deal to get 218 votes. we need about 30 or 40 votes on the republican side in the house
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of representatives. this is a time when we have to step up to the plate. >> what do you have to give up to get that though? >> we're going to have tax cuts, but we're also going to have cuts in the budget. we have to start that process. that was part of the president's deal. it's a balanced approach. i think it's the correct approach. what the numbers are we can debate. but what the philosophy is and the specifics are, it's critical to get a resolution. >> i don't disagree with that, but i disagree with paul ryan demanding that there's going to be major changes in medicare and medicaid. he's going to go after the poor. >> none of us are going to accept cuts in medicaid benefits. none of us are going to accept a different module for social security. what we need to work out is how much are we going to cut in taxes? what are we going to allow? the republicans are holding the middle class hostage here. we could have done this five months ago.
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that's provide the tax cuts and let them continue for the middle class. we have other taxes we have to debate here. we have to talk about the taxes in terms of what people are paying in payroll taxes. >> i thought that the hostages saw the gates open on november 6th. robert, what do you make of this? >> the interesting thing here, ed, is that the democrats are holding tough and the republicans seem not to have remembered who won the election on november 6th. by putting paul ryan in there as the chief negotiator are putting somebody in who really did say all during the election we are going to cut medicare, we're going to cut social security, we're going to cut programs for the poor, and we're going to cut taxes on the rich. well, that was repudiated by the electorate electorate. they have a chance to show what side the republicans are on. they are on the side of the rich and not the middle class.
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there will be, i think, a day of reckoning and that day is going to be in january. if we go over the fiscal cliff, which is actually more of a hill than a fiscal cliff. what that means essentially is that all tax rates go back to the clinton tax rates. the clinton tax rates were not that horrible. i was happy to be and proud to be a member of the clinton administration and we had a very good economy. >> congressman, are you okay with those rates? >> i don't accept, and i usually agree with the professor, i don't accept that we should all just wait until the new administration comes in. i don't think that puts us in a better place at all. we could raise a lot of money and lose a lot of money at the same time if we let all the tax cuts expire. there's no guarantees that the
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middle class tax cuts will pass. you're going to have a few less republicans in the house of representatives. i don't agree with that. i think we should make an effort. let me tell you something. i think we should look at the example of president when he was a senator, senator obama and senator mccain, when they made that decision in september, both of them, in the heat of a presidential election in 2008 to put differences aside and support -- there's got to be some common good here. >> i don't disagree with that. i totally agree with you. but i don't trust the republicans that they are going to put medicare and medicaid off to the side. >> we're not. we're not going to accept that and you know that. >> mr. riech, you think the democrats can hold the line on this? >> they have to hold the line. that's what the election was all about. do we want to sacrifice medicare and medicaid? the public said no.
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do we want to increase taxes on the wealthy and give everybody else an extension? the public said overwhelmingly yes. democrats know they got a mandate at least on that from the public. and the republicans seem not to have heard what the public said. and if republicans are going to do what they have done for the past four years, which is essentially say no to everything, not compromise at all, then we are going to go over the so-called fiscal cliff. we're going to go back to the clinton tax rates. the democrats are going to have a chance to negotiate new taxes that do raise taxes on the wealthy. and then the republicans sglsh we're going to have to leave it there. >> congressman bill pascrell, thank you being here. remember tonight's question at the bottom of the screen. share your thoughts on twitter @edshow. we want to know what you think.
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coming up the twinkie is making headlines. the real story behind the bankruptcy. stay with us. [ female announcer ] some people like to pretend a flood could never happen to them. and that their homeowners insurance protects them. [ thunder crashes ] it doesn't. stop pretending. only flood insurance covers floods. ♪ visit floodsmart.gov/pretend to learn your risk.
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a judge orders mediation instead of allowing more than 18,000 jobs to vanish if the makers of twinkies go out of business. senator john mccain asked for an apology from susan rice. and congressman allen west has defeated, but he won't quit. share your thoughts with us on facebook and twitter. we're coming right back.
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thanks for staying with us.
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hostess brands went to bankruptcy court today. they want to fire more than 18,000 workers. some broke the news with a few laughs. >> it's a sad day for america. >> i'm just going to save mine for 12 years when it will still be good. >> share the wealth there. >> it makes you want to go buy all of the twinkies in the grocery store. >> can we have a quick thoughts of twinkies in your life? >> all these rich media people, it's easy to talk about twinkies in the gold old days. the real story, i don't think it's funny. it's about 18,000 workers who just found out that they are going to get fired just before the holidays. many have worked at hostess for more than a decade. their bosses asked for 8% pay cut and a 17% cut in benefits. some workers would have to give
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back at least $2,000 a year. this is the second time in three years hostess has asked its employees to cut their salaries and sacrifice benefits to keep the company going. now the union is getting blamed. >> the union preferred killing the company to accepting what they thought was a bad deal. >> the brand has value. someone will guy bye it and manufacture in a right to work state where they don't have to operate under 372 collective bargaining agreements. >> george will, i why don't you work for their wage and see how it it feels. hostess has been going broke for a long, long time under poor management. hostess is facing its second bankruptcy. at the same time, the ceos of the company, he gave himself a raise. he's making $2.25 million a year. other top executives got hefty pay raises too. while the company suffers, what
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happens to the fat cats on the top? they get paid more. the republicans are blaming the workers. hostess declared bankruptcy in 2004 with $450 million in debt. most companies pay off their debt in bankruptcy. they only got deeper. they laid off 20% of the workers. hostess stopped paying into the pension fund as well. now the company is $1 billion in debt and it's back to threatening employees and begging for bankruptcy. here's the most shocking part of it all. hostess attorneys said they want to fire 18,000 employees at the same time they want to pay out $1.75 million in incentives to 19 senior managers. that's because they did such a hell of a job. they did such a fantastic job they should get bonuses while the company goes under. the judge was not pleased. he ordered them into private
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mediation with the employees. apparently hostess completely skipped mediation before announcing it would close up shop. tonight analysts predict that hostess will sell its twinkie brand name to a better company. in the end, breaking up the union just because they think that's really good business. one investor wrote, shedding the supply supply complications of the union -- it's not just about jokes. it's about big bucks and union busts. it's about 18,000 workers who say they have give up some pay, work extra shifts and wish for better management. >> they are taking all the money. they are gone. they want to get money and get out. >> we took an 80% pay cut to keep the plant open to we were able to have a job and work.
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but as you see, that didn't help either. >> they watched it ride into the ground. they took the concessions from the last go around and just squander that money away. >> this company just wants to rip this union apart. they are not going to take it. >> the twinkie brand name will probably survive. 18,000 workers are out of luck. at least it appears that way right now. joining me is matt taibbi. what's your moral compass here when management at the top is expecting bonuses, yet workers are supposed to go home with nothing. >> this follows a familiar narrative that wean seen a lot in america e. in this case a private equity firm comes in and takes over after a bankruptcy. they borrow a ton of money. so now you have a company that in its first bankruptcy was $450
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million in debt. now it's $1 billion in debt after it was taken over. so the company didn't wipe out its debt, it doubled its debt. but in the end, they are not blaming all that debt for the company's problems. they are blaming the workers and their pensions and benefits which remains static throughout this entire time. it's part of the mythology we have to blame the workers for wants benefits and a living wage. >> could taxpayers wind up paying the unpaid pension fund? >> that's a possibility. one of the maneuvers that we have seen a lot from these financial companies, and this happened with friendly ice cream and eddie bahher, you have a bankruptcy and the pension gets peeled off and gets assumed by the pension benefit guarantee corporation, which is a federally-ensured insurance company company. and they would assume part or
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all of the pension obligation and then once that happens, once you have peeled off the pension, then the asset becomes more attractive to new buyers and they take over the company. >> these workers on fixed wages and fixed benefits, they are not in charge of sales, they are not in charge of product development. they are the workers that make the product and do all the things. yet in so many of these cases, they end up getting the blame. it's all their fault. they are the reason why. this is the bain model of capitalism. >> absolutely. bain did a lot of deals like this. they peeled off the pension fund a couple times. there was a gas company, i believe, they were involved where they did the exact maneuver. but one thing that everybody agrees about with hostess and with these products like twinkies, everybody likes twinkies. there's nothing wrong with the product. they are suffering because of the health craze, but there's
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still a healthy market for the products. they are putting out a good product. it's that management has been incompetent and it's unfortunate that the narrative has shifted the blame to the workers. >> appreciate you joining us. coming up shs the latest installment in john mccain's quest to stay relevant. now he's demanding a television apology from susan rice. and later it's been two weeks since the election and alan west refuses to let democracy run its course. stay with us.
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>> "the ed show." thanks for watching. john mccain has been embarrassing himself on national television and it looks like he has no intention of stopping. the senate role has given him the opportunity to grand stand over the response on the attack on benghazi. he's been lobbying to establish a special watergate-style select committee on matter. mccain undermined his own effort when he skipped the briefing on benghazi to hold a news conference demanding answers on the subject. to make matters worse, he blew up at a reporter who dared to question him about his absence. his idea of a watergate-style panel suggests the obama administration has been involved in some kind of a cover-up. but top intelligence officials tell nbc's andrea mitchell they kept their unclassified talking
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points for susan rice deliberately vague to avoid any future legal proceedings. and some of mccain's own republican colleagues say there's no reason to create a special committee. so why is mccain doing this? as "the huffington post" pointed out, in january, senator mccain will lose his top ranking seat due to term limits. the only ranking spot available to him next session will be on the affairs committee. the creation of a special committee would give mccain the opportunity to stay relevant and create more problems for the president of the united states who defeated him in 2008 to prove just how disconnected from reality this man is, mccain is now demanding u.n. ambassador susan rice go on television and apologize for the way she characterized the benghazi attacks. >> maybe she could start out by publically coming back on this show and say, i was wrong. i gave the wrong information on your show some several weeks
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ago. that might be a beginning. >> let's bring in katrina vanden heuvel. i just find that comment on sunday by john mccain outrageous. why is he attacking susan rice like that? >> there are a number of reasons. i think he's trying to stay relevant as you said. i think this is a political hit job against the president. that's who they are aiming at. i think they are doing the fox and the fox fuelled hysteria about the attacks in benghazi. but this reminds me of the republican flight from reality, the post truth politics mitt romney engaged in. he would travel around the country saying president obama did an apology tour traveling the world. this guy, senator mccain, keeps talking about the danger o of america's light footprint. if you want to deal with sub tans and not just the calls mccain has made about weakness and light footprint, we need to
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look squarely at u.s. foreign policy in the region and what john mccain and lindsey graham are doing is they are distracting us from confronting the extraordinary challenges we face in north africa and the middle east. and that flight from reality is at the heart of the current gop. >> when president obama took office in 2009, the republicans were up against a president who was popular coming off a historical election. nobody went after him except dick cheney. >> absolutely. >> he was saying we're not on a war footing. he doesn't understand security. it seems like john mccain is taking on this role now. find anything you can and throw it at the wall. >> throw it at the president. the republicans have -- they don't have a lot of maneuvering room to be honest. because the president though he ended the war in iraq and is winding down the war in
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afghanistan, the president has, for a lot of progressives, been -- you know, has backed away from national policy. it's ones that mccain should like in many ways. if you want a select committee to investigate our national security, do it on a number of frameworks, but not susan rice and what she said on "meet the press." if you look at her interview, it was very cautious. she was given talking points by the cia. if anyone understands intelligence briefings, it used to be john mccain until he decided this was going to become a political witch hunt for him. don't get where he's heading except that a republican party wants to go after the president on this front. >> early days of the iraq war, it was mccain who used to complain about intelligence reports saying he would listen to them, but then pick up "the washington post" and see everything they had talked about the day before. he used to complain about this. so he can't have it both ways.
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>> the irony is also the hypocrisy. you have supporters of condoleezza rice. that campaign of misinformation followed, led us into a war. we can't afford this. these republicans talking about the danger of a light footprint, have no sense of a real security policy that this country needs. >> same playbook, different year is where we're at. thanks so much. katrina vanden heuvel. stay with us. we're right back. democrats in congress are up in arms over florida governor rick scott's plan to save his pal alan west. we'll go to florida next.
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then big banks are trying to block elizabeth warren from doing her job. those details ahead. and workers are planning black friday strikes at walmart stores across america. the big box retailer is now punching back. the nation's josh eidelson here with the story.
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welcome back to "the ed show." alan west and patrick murphy, he's declared victory twice. already attended the freshman orientation meetings. two weeks after the election, alan west refused to concede after pinning his hopes to st. luci county. now rick scott is taking heat for what democrats are calling improper interference in west's attempt to overturn the election results. a scott appointee ordered a team
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of auditors to oversee this county and the canvassers. it's a move that had florida's top democrats sounding the alarm. debbie wasserman schultz put out a statement saying, "after disenfranchising florida voters by cutting down early voting days and creating extraordinary long lines at polls, governor scott is trying to overturn an election result he disagreed with. governor scott needs to remove himself from the process immediately." it was announced sunday after getting the state to recount the votes in st. luci county, west lost by a wider margin than before. ironically, alan west, the man who channeled mccarthy by saying they were communists, just can't handle democracy. joining me is chairman of the broward county committee is
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mitch cesar. crazy things continue to happen down in florida. this patrick murphy has won this election. what is the governor up to? >> well, you're right. actually, it seems patrick murphy has won it twice, literally. i find this very surprising because the governor was the king of voter suppression. not only in florida, but across the country. he led the way towards suppressing the vote. he's up for a tough reelection. and i'm a little bit surprised because what alan west is asking the governor to do is not solve a legal problem, he's asking to solve a political problem. if republicans really are being truthful and have learned any lessons from the past election, it should be that the american public and certainly florida voters won on a level playing field and the governor has no business in this fight. >> does he have any legal
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recourse where he could cause problems here? tomorrow at noon, florida is ready to certify the votes from the district. probably going -- as i understand florida law, if west is going to challenge that after the election is certified, he would have to prove fraud. what about the governor? what legal avenue does the governor have? >> well, i don't think he has that much. as you know, ex-congressman west resorted to the court system. he got a recount and is further behind than he was. the governor's abilities here are very small. i would just be very shocked if he goes, as you said, he's going forward. by don't think he can go too far. you know, this is governed. it was a three-county district. it was one type of the voting. and i think his powers are limited. for a guy facing a tough reelection, i think he's crazy
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to get involved in this. >> is this alan west's ego at this point? >> well, you know, i think that's exactly it. he reminds me of custer. here's a guy surrounded, doesn't know it, finally figures out that he is, says to his troops, looks like we're surrounded. and they turn to him and they go, what do you mean we? i think they are going to move away from him. the voters of the district show that extremism has now eventually done him in. >> mitch cesar, great to have you with us. coming up, for the first time in 50 years, walmart workers are planning a major labor strike. it could impact the biggest shopping day of the year. stay with us. we're right back.
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welcome back to "the ed show." we love hearing from our viewers on twitter @edshow and on our facebook page.
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i do take in a show from time to time. we went to this one over the weekend. we saw "lincoln" which is based on the book "teams of rivals." i have to tell you, absolutely fascinating. it's a must-see. i think every high school government class in america should be encouraged to see this. jenna writes, i almost took my 16-year-old to lincoln after hearing your review. both my kids 12 and 16 will see it next weekend. i did tweet over the weekend that i like it. michael wrote, funny how the party of lincoln wants to secede from the union. it's a great movie. i was moved by it. i think you'll love it. elizabeth warren is on her way to washington as a senator. and wall street is not happy about it. we'll be right back.
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we are back. elizabeth warren of massachusetts is probably one of the most qualified people ever to potentially serve on the banking committee. so of course, wall street is trying to fight it. lobbyists are pressuring lawmakers to deny her a seat on the committee. the lobbying groups have been going nuts to keep warren off the committee according to a senate aid. the effort appears to be failing. there are two spots open on the banking committee and democrats control the senate. senate jack reid, the number two democrat on the committee, praised the senator from massachusetts. i can't think of anybody who has come to the senate with 30 years of detailed knowledge of the industry, he said. it's really an abundance of intellectual riches. she's been a crusader in the industry. she conceived the protection bureau.
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her career, standing up for the regular folks of the middle class. and the banking committee is going to be hers. i hope she takes it. tonight if our survey, i asked, who is paul ryan going to fight for? 97% of you say the rich. coming up, walmart employees are fed up with low wages and bad working conditions so they could be staging a major black friday strike. we'll bring you all the details next, stay with us.
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in the big finish tonight, for the first time walmart is facing a major labor strike and could impact black friday. walmart workers plan to strike at 1,000 stores around the country with the biggest protests taking place on black friday. smaller demonstrations have been happening since early october. workers are fighting for the basics. minimum pay of $13 an hour, fair scheduling, less expensive health benefits and safer working conditions in warehouses. walmart has been fighting efforts to unionize for years and now they are getting desperate. they filed a complaint against the union today. they claim the united food and commercial workers union is trying to force the store into collective bargaining even though employees can't unionize.
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walmart tried to down play the protests earlier today. >> let's get one thing straight here. don't believe everything you read in the union press release. just because they say one thing doesn't mean it's going to materialize. we have seen some of these events before. it's usually a handful of associates at a handful of stores across the country. >> these workers have every right to fight for something that they consider to be fair. walmart made over $15 billion last year and paid its ceo $18 million. walmart has no problem hanging them out to dry. "the huffington post" obtained a walmart document showing low-level employee pay structure. they found if an employee starts at $8 an hour and performs flawlessly, they can expect to make $10.60 an hour after working there for six years. do the math for one year. that employee makes $22,000 a year after working at walmart for six years?
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on top of all of this, the walton family, which owns walmart, was worth $89 billion in 2010. it's the same worth as the bottom 41% of american families. it's no surprise walmart workers are planning a black friday strike. the company defiantly has the money to provide its employees with a livable wage and health care. they can lead the way in america and help workers, but no, they hate union and don't want to pay workers. joining me is the nation magazine writer josh eidelson. great to have you with us. you have been on this story since this summer. what put you on the story? >> i started covering a group of workers in louisiana at a walmart supplier who went on strike. what they alleged were forced labor conditions. that means essentially slavery. so you had eight workers in louisiana who went on strike,
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got walmart to suspend the supplier and laid the groundwork for the wave of strikes. >> so the the retaliation took you to the next level of covering this. >> since this summer, i have been covering examples of workers. walmart workers have been speaking out over wages, working conditions, and the response that the workers have alleged has been management legally trying to discourage them, but illegally firing and threatening people. >> so people have lost their jobs because they have spoken out against the company's practices. correct? >> i have talked to numerous workers who have alleged that very credibly. >> when this protest started in october, did you think it was going to grow to what it is expected to be on friday? >> i thought it would be big. i don't think anyone knew how big it would get. but in october we saw 160 retail workers on the strike.
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now we'll get to see how many coworkers they could bring along for black friday. >> what would a thousand stores walking out, what would that do? >> it has the potential to cut into the brand and sales when a huge chunk of business for the whole year happens. it can inspire as well. >> so the legal action that has now been put in front of the labor relations board, that was one of the things you wrote about. does it surprise you the company did that and what effect do you think it's going to have? >> it's just a matter of time. labor law does a lot to restrict unions and workers protest rights. in this case, though, walmart doesn't appear to have a very strong case. they would need to prove they are striking to force unionnization saying they are striking over retaliation. walmart hasn't provided that evidence to the public. >> what was your response to
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what you just saw, the vice president of kmurn indications saying they have seen these things before and they fizzle out. >> it's clear they haven't seen this before. up until last month, there have never been strikes at multiple walmart stores. >> do you think there will be a thousand? >> absolutely. everything that's been promised has been delivered. they have a dismissive message to the public, but they are sitting them to sit in the meetings and be lectured to why they shouldn't participate. >> they are about low prices and low wages. bottom line. >> you know, a report came out showing walmart if it paid employees half way decently, the way the economy could be stimulated is those workers would be lifted out of poverty and could go out and spend money. >> do you think they will ever be unionized? >> we're incredibly closer now than we were a couple months ago. this company has closed entire departments and entire stores
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just because the workers looked like they would unionize. >> great to have you with us tonight. thank you very much. that's "the ed show." the "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. good evening, rachel. >> good evening, thank you very much. appreciate it. thank you at home for staying with us for the next hour. the presidency of barack obama now at its halfway point has already been a presidency of historic firsts. tonight there are two more firsts to add to the list. this was president obama today in the nation of burma. that's him with the president of burma. here's president obama in cambodia alongside that nation's prime minister. the trips to burma and cambodia represent the first visits by a sitting u.s. president to either of those countries ever. and on this pre-thanksgiving trip, he squeeze eed in a trip to our long standing ally in the region, thailand. the president is traveling in a part of the world that's important to the united states, vi